Most of society gets a bad rap for always looking for the easy way out. In many aspects of life, people just want an easy answer. A silver bullet that will save them for having to do hours of research and work. The organic craze claims to be bringing responsibility back to the kitchen. By purchasing organic, people get the feeling of taking an active role in the decisions of feeding themselves and their family. But is that really the case?
When people think of organic, they think of pesticide free food. They think of food the way it is “supposed to be”. They think of a certain Eden where everything lives in perfect harmony. But is this really the case?
The truth is, there are some organic producers that are pesticide free. However, in today’s market, not all organic is created equal.
The variations of “organic” that fall under the label are numerous.
When you purchase organic produce today, you have no guarantee if the product was produced using pesticides or not.
I thought organic producers weren’t allowed to use pesticides.
As a matter of fact they can. (Link to list of organically approved pesticides).
This is the problem with the industry. All of the marketing going around wants to chastise conventional growers for only caring about profits (which couldn’t be further from the truth). The organic industry is big business. All you have to do is be able to fall under the organic umbrella and you have the ability to charge large premiums for your products.
So then organic pesticides must be somehow safer than conventional pesticides right?
Not necessarily. The vetting process that conventional (synthetic chemicals) have to go through is rigorous. They have to go through years of testing. They need to understand all of the charactrerisics of the chemical. Characteristics like the breakdown period (how long it take until the material breakdown in toxicity until it is safe to handle). When it comes to many organic chemicals, these characteristics are not as understood. So in some cases, the synthetics are safer (because much more is known about them).
Arsenic is an organically approved pesticide that is highly toxic to humans.
So what does this mean? Should you not buy organic?
The answer is this doesn’t mean you should or shouldn’t.
What the public needs to understand is that the label “organic” has turned into another silver bullet. You can’t just purchase organics with the confidence it is somehow “better for you”. You have to do your research. The best way to purchase the best products for your family is do your research into the producers. If possible, buy local products. Get to know the farmers and ranchers. Understand their practices. That is the best way (besides raising products yourself) to know how healthy and safe your products are.
Feature image via BigStock Photo